I always wondered what happened to interim managers when they were replaced. You always hear about them being reassigned and stuff, but I had always assumed that was a euphemism for what I suspect really happened to them: getting rolled up in a carpet and dumped in a ravine someplace. In light of that, I’ve always considered being an interim manager only a slightly more desirable job than being the #2 guy in Al Qaeda: a shaky-at-best gig that lasted only until you heard the drones coming for you.
But not so with Juan Samuel! He’s sticking with the Orioles after Buck Showalter takes over and, according to MLB.com’s Britt Ghiroli, he’ll be scouting in the Dominican Republic. Of course he’s from the Dominican Republic so this could very well be a “go home, relax, get paid, and if we hear from you we hear from you” kind of gig.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to write another letter to that nice family in the country my parents sent our dog to live with back in 1981. I hope Old Ben is still happy chasing rabbits all day!
Update #2 (6:21 PM EST): Make that $37.5 million, per Heyman.
Update (6:02 PM EST): The deal is for “around” $37 million with deferrals that lower the present-day value, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that free agent 1B/OF Mark Trumbo is close to a deal with the Orioles. He first reported that the two sides were back in touch earlier on Thursday afternoon. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the deal is expected to be for three years and under $40 million.
Trumbo’s market hasn’t developed as he expected. The slugger turned down the Orioles’ $17.2 million qualifying offer back in November. Then the Orioles reportedly made a four-year contract offer to him in December but pulled it off the table. Most recently, a report indicated that Trumbo lowered his expectations to a three-year deal in the $40-50 million range.
Trumbo, 31, led the majors with 47 homers for the Orioles this past season. He also hit a solid .256/.316/.433 with 108 RBI in 667 plate appearances. With Trumbo back in the fold and some slight offensive upgrades made, the Orioles figure to have a formidable offense in 2017.
The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.
Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.
Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.